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A Guide To Yarrow Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

A Guide To Yarrow Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Yarrow essential oil (Achillea millefolium) is a "fragrance for dreaming, for visionary experiences, for traveling on the energy of the universe, while being protected and nurtured," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She says yarrow encourages harmony, equilibrium, intuition, and centering.

Basic Yarrow Facts

Plant family: Asteraceae/Compositae (daisy)

Production: Steam distilled from the leaves and flowers/buds of the plant

Aroma: Herbaceous and slightly spicy or sweet.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle

Is yarrow safe to use during pregnancy? No

Is yarrow essential oil safe for children? Some sources recommend not using on children under age 2 because of the thujone content.

Cautions: This profile is for yarrow of the chamazulene chemotype (also called blue yarrow). Also available is green yarrow (Achillea nobilis), which is different.

Main components:

  • sabinene          26.2%  
  • chamazulene    19.7%
  • beta-myrcene    7.0%
  • germacrene D    6.2%
  • beta-pinene       4.5%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.

Benefits Of Yarrow Essential Oil

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: You can use yarrow hydrosol as an astringent for problem or oily skin.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Yarrow may help relieve some digestive complaints, colds, flu, insomnia, acne, stress-related conditions, and menstrual cramps.

375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols: Use yarrow in skin care for acne, eczema, and inflammation and to reduce the appearance of varicose veins and scars.

Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, yarrow is cool and dry and believed to have properties that reduce inflammation. Yarrow stimulates the Liver and regulates Qi-energy, offering relief of indigestion and some other digestive problems. The essential oil may reduce menstrual pain and help relieve neuritis and arthritis. Yarrow oil especially helps people who have anger or rage linked subconsciously to emotional wounding and vulnerability.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Psychologically, yarrow promotes emotional stability, flexibility, and renewal. The oil also promotes good judgement, insight, and alertness. Physically, the essential oil stimulates congestive/damp conditions and cools hot conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of yarrow is to invigorate the Blood, reduce stagnation, and resolve damp.

Essential Oils Desk Reference: The fragrance balances highs and lows. It inspires and grounds at the same time and is useful during meditation and to support intuition.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Yarrow calms and protects.

Yarrow Oil Uses

To make a massage oil, add 5 drops of yarrow essential oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil. You can massage the blend onto your abdomen for digestive complaints or to help relieve menstrual cramps. This massage oil may also help relieve varicose veins.

Relief For Menstrual Problems

To relieve PMS and menstrual cramps:

  • 15 drops yarrow
  • 20 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 10 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame or other carrier oil
  1. Drop essential oils into a amber glass bottle. Cap and shake.
  2. Add the carrier oil.
  3. Replace cap and shake vigorously for one to two minutes.
  4. Massage the blend onto your abdomen and lower back one to two times a day, as needed.

Source: Aromatic Studies

For missing periods (amenorrhea):

Caution: Make sure your are not pregnant and do not have a medical condition before using this blend.

  • 4 drops yarrow essential oil
  • 15 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 11 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Massage the blend over your abdomen and lower back twice a day for at least two weeks.

Source: The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Skin Toner

This blend is especially good for oily skin.

  • 4 drops yarrow
  • 4 drops rose otto essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons argan oil

Blend ingredients in a small, dark bottle. Apply to clean, damp skin.
Source: Miracle Botanicals

Pain Relief

To relieve joint pain:

  • 5 drops yarrow
  • 5 drops German chamomile essential oil
  • 5 drops blue cypress essential oil
  • 5 drops blue tansy essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons trauma oil

Blend all oils into a small dark bottle. Gently massage a little of the blend onto painful joints, as needed.

Source: Aromahead

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Photo Credit: Florian Fournier, Cerema NP [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons